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Paredes de Coura Festival 2012 – the preview

My personal favorite festival Paredes de Coura is just ahead and we’re here to welcome it. Almost a landmark in Portugal, Paredes de Coura is turning twenty this year. And what a big boy it has become. From the likes of Sonic Youth, Arcade Fire, Dinosaur Jr., Queens of the Stone Age, Yo La Tengo, Mogwai, PJ Harvey, Pixies, Death from Above 1979, Morrissey, Bauhaus, The Cramps (and we could keep going), the shores of river Tabuão (that sets the perfect idyllic scenery) have seen it all. More than you probably will in your whole life.

In 2012, the festival adds another day to the usual agenda, turning into a five day picturesque music site.

Apart from the shows you can relax all afternoon on the beautiful beach which is painted by green (jazz shows are played throughout the afternoon) or you can tour the little hamlet that surrounds the festival, eating tasteful food (which features the region), drinking good alcohol filled beverages or chilling anywhere with your gang.

I’m pretty sure you can’t miss all that was stated above. Just hop on your car, train, airplane, bicycle, goat or camel and head to Paredes de Coura next week!

But if I wasn’t clear enough and didn’t make enough effort to persuade you into coming and visit the festival, I’m going to share with you guys some of my favorites that are going to play next week.

Born in Lisbon, raised with bossa-nova and wearing Sam Beam’s beard, B Fachada sure is an eclectic type of person. Bordering different genres, expect him to gift you with his new record afro-xula,as the title suggests expect to shake your booty with those african vibes. But despite of all that, B Fachada is like Western Sahara over here. If some people think he’s the hope of new sounds in Portugal, other ones would like to have him roasted with a apple in his mouth. It’s up to you to decide.

I hope your dancing spirit keeps steady. Later that night, Portuguese’s favorite fatty is going to be happy spinning some records. Expect everything but The Smiths to be played.

For the first time in Portugal, Pavement’s mastermind Stephen Malkmus is proving us he’s still in shape. With a five-album catalog (not to add all of the Pavement’s records and outside collaborations), Malkmus brings us his latest Mirror Traffic,released in 2011. Probably one of the most expected shows in all of the festival. After all, as the senator in that one song, we all want a blowjob too.

Canadian duo Japandroids are living the hype. In their suitcase they bring excellent records, all of them were quite well accepted by the specialized press. Their latest Celebration Rock is the greeting card. Keep an eye on them.

Sun Araw, the moniker of Cameron Stallones (not to be confused with Rocky) is stepping on Portuguese soil for the first time since 2010. Picture this: one lonely guy smoking a joint while listening to Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, on a beach drawn by Dali. Now transmute this into sound.

All of these bands play on the 14th together with tUnE-yArDs, Friends and Paus.

Chicago born Willis Earl Beal’s history sure is a tale. Discharged from army, working low-level jobs eventually leading him to homelessness, Beal didn’t quit. He kept recording music, leaving CD-R’s in public places and he’d also drawed self-illustrated flyers around town in hoping of finding himself a girlfriend. One of those flyers was found by Found Magazine (ironic, eh) who put him on the cover of the magazine. Hot Charity/XL Recordings signed him and I’m pretty sure they did well. His debut, Acoumastic Sorcery mixes one million genres with a folk background. Don’t miss him!

The Durham family probably is the coolest in the world. Multi-instrumentalists and siblings Kitty, Daisy and Lewis take you back to the day the music died. And guess who back them up? Their father (playing the acoustic guitar) and their mom (playing the double bass). If you’re into dancing, checkered dresses, early Johnny Cash or even some ska, those are the guys you can’t miss. I expect nothing less than the best show in the whole festival.

Patrick Watson sure is a virtuoso. I like him and I like what he plays, especially when he touches the piano. I like his band also. Ask your longtime girlfriend to marry you on this show. It’ll work.

Sinos de trenó (Portuguese for Sleigh Bells) are also playing later that day. Don’t miss them!

Belgian rockers dEUS are one of Paredes de Coura favorite alumni. With more than 20 years and a lifespan full of success they are always welcome. Expect to hear most of their classics (“The Ideal Crash”, “Sister Dew”, “Little Arithmetics, “Suds&Soda”, “Instant Street) and prepare to say hello to their yet-to-be-released album, Following Sea. Hope you’re not too drunk by that time.

If you were chilling with dEUS, the zermans are back to Portugal and they intend on waking you up. Backed by Kitsuné seal of approval, the duo will try to work as the perfect pre-after-hours. Pre-after-hours. You read it right. Time for another beer.

Yeah, they are extinct. But I hope you ain’t when they start playing.

The movie. If you haven’t got the chance to see Drive, you won’t get it. But well, I guess they’re worth the waiting.

Team Me, Dry the River, Midlake, Temper Trap are also playing that night.

Deer Tick. I love these guys. Frontman John McCauley now looks more like a Kurt Cobain raised down on the boondocks and sings us bourbon-filled love songs. It’s like you’re driving on 9, sipping on your Jim Beam’s thinking about your ex-girlfriend. Yeah, the one you loved and got away.

But that was before. It seems they’ve been listening to a lot of The Replacements lately. Divine Providence, their latest, spices things a bit up. Expect a drunk punk party all the way (with a bit of melting heart sessions). Even if your girlfriend got away, the Deer Tick is here to warm you up.

Of Montreal are probably one of the most heterogenous bands compromising the line up. While their first albums (e.g. Cherry Peel) were more direct, almost beatle-esque influenced twee pop, they have evolved into a more complex range of sounds full of color, Kevin Barnes’ hermaphrodite dancing moves, vaudevillian themed pop songs, in a show staged by Prince and David Bowie. You can’t miss this band. And if you’re familiar with the Elephant Six Recording Co.you know what I’m talking about.

Erlend Øye (with the strange O) makes all those hipster chicks sweat. He probably likes Paredes de Coura more than I do, at least judging from last year. So, together Eirik Glambek Bøe they have a little band named Kings of Convenience. The so-called KOC were playing here last year, and while all of the other dudes from bands were chilling backstage in the afternoon (before the shows started), Erlend took his guitar and ended up playing with random festival-goers. And he even hopped on a insfulated boat spreading his delicate sounds like the mermaids/nymphs did in Odyssey.

He now brings us his more rock-oriented band, The Whitest Boy Alive. Expect to hear catchy riffs and to feel the happiness flowing through the audience.

Originating from the East Midlands, Kasabian is probably the most respected band in the whole lineup. Their eponymous debut was one of the most antecipated records back in 2004. Songs like “Processed Beats”, “Club Foot”, “L.S.F.” probably ring a bell. Their latest, Velociraptor, released last year was well recieved by the specialized press. What can you expect? A solid show.

Special praise to The Wave Pictures, one of the most consistent alternative rock bands of the last years. Expect to be surprised.

Crystal Fighters (not to be confused with Crystal Castles) bring a sunny folktronica that will challange your fatigue.

I Like Trains, School of Seven Bells, Gang Gang Dance and Anna Calvi are also playing that night.

Curiosity has landed on Mars and she’s looking for life. Afterall, God ain’t an Astronaut. Or is he

Anyway, if you’re planning on studying while attending to some shows, God is an Astronaut is a band you can’t miss. Irish post-rock. The perfect remedy for your  four day hangover.

Dead Combo surely is the most singular band in Portuguese music scene. Their sound can be put this way: Carlos Paredes and Chet Bakerwatching The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in São Jorge cinema. One of the most inventive Portuguese bands, they’ll bring their latest album Lisboa Mulata to the Paredes de Coura stage for the first time. International press loves them more than we do, and have given them enough compliments to make them smile. The proof we got it indoors.

One of the most smartest moves Paredes de Coura have made. Back from a 10-year hiatus, one of the most antecipated bands in Festival. Charismatic leader Manel Cruzdecided with his old buddies, and revived one of the most successful bands in Portugal. I’m quite sure Ornatosheads can’t wait for their first show after ten long years. I’ll skip.

DANCE TIL YOUR LEGS TURN INTO DUST.

Beach House just got a bit happier.

Youthless, Best Youth, Ladrões do Tempo, Capitão Fausto and The Go! Team are also playing on the last day. See you there.

JFC

joao@bolachas.org

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